This sixth grade lesson was inspired by Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth and Numbers in Color by Jasper Johns.
To motivate students, I asked a few to share what their favorite number is and why. We discussed how numbers have meaning to people and cultures. I suggested that artists may be inspired by numbers as well and presented a slide show of work from Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns and Charles Demuth.
Students were then instructed to select one number to be repeated numerous times around the page. We quickly talked about typography as I gave each table a sample of numbers in different type faces. I drew a sketch on the white board to demonstrate variety of size and placement. Finally, students used up to seven lines to divide the page and create new spaces and shapes. By the end of the first class, students traced their lines with white glue. This time, I demonstrated a few techniques using the document camera.
At the beginning of the next class, I gave students a vocabulary activity to complete independently or as a table, explaining that they would be using the words for their designs. Students were asked to match the correct definition to a color scheme, using a glossary (from Art: A Global Pursuit) and photo copy of terms and definitions.
Students were asked to choose from a warm, cool, monochromatic, analogous, triadic or complementary color scheme for their number design, now that they knew a color scheme is a plan for selecting colors. I noticed that pink and lime green is a thing amongst the sixth grade girls. I had to walk a few of them through how that could fit into a color scheme.